That's four left-backs ruled out as Portsmouth crisis deepens ahead of Ipswich visit

The left-back cupboard is bare – with Pompey’s crisis escalating to their Academy.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 10:42 pm

The Blues have all four left-footed full-backs in their ranks sidelined through injury in the build-up to Saturday’s crucial match with Ipswich.

Lee Brown and Brandon Haunstrup are out of action until well into the new year following injuries sustained against Peterborough earlier this month.

They join Joe Hancott in the treatment room, the third-year scholar who has twice appeared at left-back in the Leasing.com Trophy this season.

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Harvey Rew, who made his Pompey debut in the Leasing.com Trophy at Oxford United in October, is currently sidelined from Academy left-back duty with concussion. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

The promising Isle of Wight youngster damaged the ACL in his right knee during training in October, ruling him out for the remainder of the campaign.

Elsewhere, highly-regarded first-year scholar Harvey Rew usually fulfils the role for Mark Kelly’s under-18s side.

The Gosport youngster also made his first-team debut at Oxford United in the Leasing.com Trophy in October, albeit as a holding midfielder.

However, he is presently unavailable after sustaining concussion in a 3-2 Youth Alliance League win at Cheltenham more than a week ago.

Right-back Harry Kavanagh is currently deputising for the Academy at left-back. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Rew remains under the observation of Pompey’s medical staff and missed Saturday's 6-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers.

Instead, skipper and right-back Harry Kavanagh had to switch sides and deputise in the Furze Lane encounter.

The teams are scheduled to again meet tomorrow, with Rew once more ruled out out.

Kavanagh may again stand in, while midfielder Liam Kelly is another makeshift option for Academy boss Mark Kelly.

Brandon Haunstrup is one of four Pompey left-backs currently injured. Picture: Joe Pepler

As a consequence of the spreading left-back crisis, Jackett must once more look to the right-footed Anton Walkes for this weekend’s visit of Ipswich.

Walkes replaced Brown at Accrington on Saturday, among four changes to the back four through injury and unavailability.

The outcome was a 4-1 defeat – the Blues’ heftiest league loss for almost six years.

Haunstrup is expected back from his knee injury in February, a complaint initially feared to have ruled him out for considerably longer.

Brown today visited a specialist to learn whether an operation is required.

That outcome has not yet been made public, although Jackett anticipates that worst-case scenario occurring.

Of Pompey's other natural senior defenders, Christian Burgess, Sean Raggett, Paul Downing and James Bolton are all right-footed.